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Patch It Up

Does your son or daughter have a lazy eye? It develops when vision is suppressed, but only in one eye. Vision might be suppressed if someone isn't able to see as well with one eye because of issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism, or something else that could be limiting vision in that eye. Usually, eye patches are recommended in the treatment of a lazy eye. Our patients are told to have their patch on for a few hours daily, and in most cases, the patients will need glasses as well. So how does patching actually work? Well, for the most part, implementing the use of a patch trains your brain to connect with the weaker eye, which, following a period of time, will help that eye get stronger.

In some cases, it can be frustratingly difficult to have your son or daughter wear a patch, and no less when they're really young. Their more active eye is covered with the patch, which makes it harder for your child to see. It can be challenging to justify the patch to a young child; that they must patch their strong eye to better the sight in their weaker eye, but can't happen successfully unless their strong eye is covered, which temporarily limits their vision. There are a number of methods to encourage your child to wear their patch. For preschool-aged kids, perhaps you can use a sticker chart. Eye patch manufacturers sympathize with the issue; patches are made in loads of patterns and colors that kids will love. Take advantage of all the options and make it fun by giving them the chance to choose their patch each day. For kids who are a little older, tell them about the importance of wearing a patch, and refer to it as a way to help their vision in the long term.

Another trick some parents have found success with is also placing an eye patch on their child's favorite doll or stuffed animal.

A successful outcome is dependent on you to remain focused on your goal of improving your child's vision and ultimately, their quality of life.

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